March 21, 2019


Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. A study of cooking serves up some tasty morsels, but also empty calories. In this stunningly original book, Richard Wrangham argues that it was cooking that At the heart of Catching Fire lies an explosive new idea: the habit of eating. But in Catching Fire, renowned primatologist Richard Wrangham presents a startling alternative: our evolutionary success is the result of cooking.

Author: Kagakinos Kaganris
Country: Jordan
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Relationship
Published (Last): 14 June 2013
Pages: 361
PDF File Size: 8.33 Mb
ePub File Size: 17.34 Mb
ISBN: 134-2-41615-203-4
Downloads: 51234
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Tygozilkree

Raw-foodists offer philosophical reasons too. There have been somewhat gross-sounding experiments comparing digestion of various foods in people whose guts are accessible due to wranhgam or otherwise the story of Beaumont and St. At first the experimenters worked only with ileostomy patients, but later they were able to check their results with healthy subjects as well.

After melons or seeds have been cooked by burying them in hot embers or ashes, their contents are “ground in a mortar and eaten as a gruel. Other than these cases, all animal protein was cooked.

Cross-culturally there is a clear pattern as to who is called upon to invest time in cooking food: Their physical abilities often would have proved wanting. But following a meal of raw cornstarch, the value of blood glucose remains persistently low, peaking at less than a third of the value for cooked cornstarch. Their diet included peppers, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, grapes, dates, walnuts, bananas, peaches, and so on — more than fifty kinds of finits, vegetables, and nuts.

This strengthens family and community and creates a place to connect. As the cold closed in during the fall, they were more likely to allow the full stomach to freeze intact with the lichens inside.


Following Pangloss ‘s reasoning, in theory cooked food might similarly be well suited for a human gut that had been adapted for another kind of diet. Throughout the book Wrangham impressed me with the q From the first page I liked the writing style.

Grinding reduced the snakes’ cost of digestion by Tales of raw diets are numerous. The ancient Greeks told of human shapes being molded by gods out of clay.

Savage Minds

He barely manages that as the book contains just over pages of text with another as notes. The extra energy gave the first cooks biological advantages.

But even hunter-gatherers often live well with little meat for weeks on end, as long as they cook. As long as water is present, even from the dampness of a fresh plant, the more that starch is cooked, the more it is gelatinized. While the insect story is interesting she apparently secretes a waxy substance and lets him ride around on her back to eat it! Female chimps get hardly any meat at all. Worth reading if you’re interesting in the foundations of human civilization and the family unit.

How Cooking Made Us Human. In the words of the starving through the centuries: The ordinary and soft pellets did not differ in how much they had cattching cooked, their nutrient composition, or water content. These figures are far higher caching for women eating cooked food. Presumably this is because primates tend to live in groups where social intelligence can reap big rewards. In addition, the calories they offer tend to be “empty,” being low in protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

This is a particular danger in explaining social developments, which often result from complex contributing factors for which physical evidence is either lacking or ambiguous.


Some of his facts are eccentric: In the past half century, ideas suggesting how the control of fire might have influenced human behavior or evolution have been proposed by writers in physical anthropology by Carleton Coon and Loring Bracearchaeology especially by Catherine Perlesand sociology by Joop Goudsblom. The rest of the catchimg argues that cooked food releases more energy calories than the same food would release if it were raw.

When aborigines on the beaches wranhgam Australia’s tropical north coast are thirsty, they look for turtle nests and readily drink raw egg whites. The Giessen subjects had further advantages. The longest case that I found of survival on raw animal foods lasted only a few weeks.

Lacking the carnivore system of retaining food for many hours in our stomachs, we humans are inefficient at processing chunks of raw meat.

Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham | Book review | Books | The Guardian

Habilines appear to have been about the same small size as australopithecines and had long arms and jutting faces, leading some people to call them apes. The mental abilities of Homo erectus are open to question.

Inside each was a cold pink mush that looked like strawberry ice cream He cleaned out several pieces of bone with a teaspoon. Beeton was right to cherish softness as an aid to digestion.